Author: Carlin, Larry

June 6, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008

He’s got to change his evil ways -- Latin rock pioneer guitarist Carlos Santana, whose hit song “Evil Ways” put him on the map in the late 60s, commented on his guitar heroes in the recent edition of Rolling Stone. He was asked, “What about Jerry Garcia? He was playing almost every night all over town (SF) with the Grateful Dead (in the 60s).” Here is Carlos’ reply: “There is something in me – my body will not let in bluegrass music. I love Merle Haggard and Buck Owens – the songwriting – and of course Willie Nelson. But there are certain kinds of music that my body doesn't allow. One is norteño. Another is bluegrass, and Jerry's playing had a lot of that…There is certain music that I just don't want to know about [laughs]. I'm still working on that.” Hey, invite this man to Grass Valley!

The banjo goes Hollywood -- Well, maybe not Hollywood, but the instrument and banjo master Bela Fleck are the subject of a new documentary titled Throw Down Your Heart. Bela took a trip to Africa (Uganda, Tanzania and other countries) to uncover the roots of the instrument. Sascha Paladino, who is also Fleck’s younger brother, directed the flick. It was well received at the recent South By Southwest conference in Austin, TX, so keep your eyes and ears open for the film, since it probably won’t be playing anytime soon at your friendly neighborhood octoplex…

Forceful foursome in Sebastopol -- You sure can’t go wrong with a roster like this: Laurie Lewis, Nina Gerber, Chad Manning and Paul Knight, all playing simultaneously and at the same time in Sebastopol on the 6th starting at 8 p.m. at Studio E. Presented by Schaef-Abel Productions.

Yell and hollar -- On the 6th at 6 p.m. Yellin' Holler, a bluegrass ensemble consisting of Tyson Alteri, Mitch Polzac, Diana Greenberg, Ted Silverman and Pam Brandon, will be playing at a special benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project Swimming to France - An English Channel Benefit Party for the South End Rowing Club at 500 Jefferson Street and Hyde Streets in SF.

Bluegrass in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 6th enjoy the bluegrass sounds of the Sonoma Mountain Band starting at 8 p.m. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover. There is a Celtic jam there on the 8th starting at 6 p.m.

Chris & Herb in Sacto -- Swell Productions presents an evening with bluegrass and country rock legends Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, along with special guests Richard March & Tyler Ragle, on the 6th at 8 p.m. at the 24th Street Theatre in Sacramento.

Kitchen pickin’ -- The Kitchen Help Bluegrass Band will be servin’ up some old fashioned bluegrass on the 6th from 7-9 p.m. at Bob’s Courthouse Café, 2198 Broadway Street, in Redwood City.

Bluegrass in SF -- The Hoss Project will be playing bluegrass on the 7th in San Francisco at the Music Store in the West Portal area. The band will be performing two sets from 2-4 p.m. The HP is Alec Oyung, Deirdre Donovan, Richard Moore, Ron Esparza and Steve Cohen. No cover.

Brunch with the Spillit Quikkers -- On the 7th from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. you can have a late breakfast or early lunch in Sacramento with the Spillit Quikkers at the Hoppy Brewing Company, 6300 Folsom Boulevard. No cover.

Backyard Party in Alameda -- The Backyard Party Boys will be partying hearty at McGrath’s Pub in Alameda on the 7th starting at 8 p.m.

Yeah, Humbug -- Mountain Laurel and the Anderson Family Bluegrass Band will be playing the annual Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park "Humbug Days" on the 7th. The event runs from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., and North Bloomfield (formerly Humbug) will come alive with costumed docents, tours of the former hydraulic mining site, wagon rides, gold panning and much more. Musical entertainment and what's billed as the "World's Shortest Parade" are included in the free event. There is a $6 parking fee.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 7th from 6:30-8 p.m. The theme for this show is Happy Birthday, Clarence White with guest co-host Steve Pottier, a noted authority on one of the most influential guitar players to ever play bluegrass. Hear Clarence’s music with The Kentucky Colonels, Muleskinner, and others. Steve’s a great guitarist himself, and may pick a few as well.

Banner evening in Sacramento -- The Banner Mountain Boys will be playing on the 7th from 7-9 p.m. at Fran’s Café, 1616 Del Paso Blvd, in Sacramento. No cover.

Artful Beans -- In Monterey on the 7th you can see Bean Creek at the Monterey Art Museum when they play for an opening of a photography exhibit called American Horizons. The opening is at a branch of the museum called La Mirada, just a few blocks away from the main museum, in downtown Monterey. Although the event runs through the day, the band will be playing from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Jamming in the Southland -- On the 8th the monthly second Sunday jam at Tucker's Grove County Park in Santa Barbara will be starting at noon and going until whenever. For more info, e-mail Alan Aleksander at Also on the 8th there will be a bluegrass jam at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena from 12:30-3:30 p.m. This free bluegrass jam is held on the second Sunday of every month in the Gallery, which is connected to the coffee house and seats 49, so there is plenty of room for players as well as spectators. Players tend to be intermediate to advanced. This is an acoustic event without amplifiers or microphones. The coffee house offers a wide selection of drinks and pastries.

McEuen in Santa Barbara -- You can see Jonathan McEuen (son of the Dirt Band’s John) at the Soho Restaurant & Music Club in Santa Barbara on the 8th starting at 8 p.m.

Sidesaddle on Sunday -- The popular band Sidesaddle can be seen playing sometime on the 8th at the Annual Western Day BOK Ranch BBQ and fundraiser in Redwood City. Call (650) 366-2265 for tickets and info.

Jammin’ in Murphys -- As in the town of, not the Sonoma Pub. On the 8th head on out to the Murphys Community Park (on the creek just off Main Street) between 2-5 p.m. to do some pickin’. For more info call (209) 795-3369.

Birthday correction -- Two days ago in this column it was reported that Charlie Monroe’s birthday was on June 4, 1903. Turns out that got this wrong. Charlie was born on July 4th, 1903. Thanks to Peter Thompson for this tip.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Archaeologists will date any old t
Posted:  6/9/2008

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